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OU role players land spot on national television show

Tuesday, February 10, 2009
OU role players land spot on national television show
Drew Hall, president of the Dagorhir Club at OU, battles as a goblin named Ryot Shadestep.
By Amanda Benjamin, student writer


The Dagorhir Club at OU – a group of live-action, role-playing enthusiasts – made its television debut on the Discovery Channel’s “Wreckreation Nation” with Dave Mordal on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

“Dagorhir is a full-contact, foam-fighting, medieval re-enactment,” said Drew Hall, president of the club, which has been around for about five years.

“The community is made up of a variety of individuals from different walks of life.”

Dagorhir participates in many events throughout the year, the biggest being Ragnarok, which is a weeklong immersion in camping and fighting during the summer. It takes place in Ohio and draws about 2,000 people.

Badon Hill is the second largest event of the year, hosted by Rome and Eryndor, the Michigan and northern Ohio chapters of Dagorhir. Based on the legendary battle between King Arthur and the Saxons, the event was visited by the crew of “Wreckreation Nation,” which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

“It was exciting,” said club member Eddie Szymczak. “You didn’t know what they were going to cover or if you were going to be in it or not.”

Dagorhir has members in every state, as well as in Puerto Rico and Europe, Hall said. “We literally are everywhere.”

Jenna Barnes, vice president of the Dagorhir Club, is a pirate named Lady in Red.
Founded in 1977, the organization is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and means “battle lords” in the author’s Sindarin Elven language.

Dagorhir players create their own characters, such as pirates, mercenaries, orcs, elves or thieves. Some players also band together to form units. The units of Eryndor include the Senegal’s Finest band of pirates, the Thieves Guild, the Imperial Guard of mercenaries, the Warband of Vikings and Legacy of the Lifetree, which includes paladins, elves and all other characters.

“My favorite thing about Dagorhir would have to be the camaraderie,” Hall said.

Szymczak agrees. “Everyone looks out for each other.”

Dagorhir is also safer than most contact sports because of its strict rules, Hall said. Every weapon is tested before practice starts.

Dagorhir practices are held every Sunday at noon in the Activity Center of the Recreation Center. For more information, visit dagorhir.com or eryndor.com.